JD and International Law

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WesternDisturbanes
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Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:14 am

JD and International Law

Postby WesternDisturbanes » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:22 pm

Hey there,

I am a long time lurker, don’t post a lot, actually very little. I am in a slightly tedious situation and I would be highly grateful if any of you guys could help me figure out what to do with my conundrum.

Here’s the thing, I am a law student from India and I’ll be graduating from India wioth my law degree in a year. From what I have got to know, if anyone wants to work in States the most preferable option is to have a J.D. (and that basically LLM is a gimmick). Is that so? I am not hesitant to repeat my Bachelors of Laws again because I know that in a better setting, I know I can also perform better given more resources, [It’s not that I have a crappy degree from, it’s from one of the better universities along with that I have a pretty decent track record interms of publications/internships et al]. Further with an LLM without a JD I don’t want to be viewed as an ‘also ran’ even before I start my law career. and I’ll be only 24 when I finish my law degree in India and if I decide to do it all over again then I would graduate when I am 27 so I guess I won’t be overtly old to be a lawyer.

What do you guys think? Is it reasonable to a J.D. all over again.

And what do you guys think about doing a JD and would it help one terms of an International Law career. If I wanted to venture out into International Law, may be? Say with an International Organization, or UN? Would they definitely need me to specialize with an LLM OR JD be good enough?

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dr123
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Re: JD and International Law

Postby dr123 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:24 pm

What exactly do you mean by "International Law"?

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Veyron
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Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:50 am

Re: JD and International Law

Postby Veyron » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:24 pm

Get a JD

You won't get a job with the UN or anything like that. International law jobs of the type that you are describing are about as difficult to get as supreme court clerkships.

Hey-O
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Re: JD and International Law

Postby Hey-O » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:26 pm

I'm not familiar with the degree system in India. In the US a JD is an advanced degree. Meaning, you already have a bachelor's (which can be in any subject) and then you complete three additional years. If you want to complete a JD then it would not be unusual at all to have Bahcelor's from your Indian university and then the JD.

WesternDisturbanes
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Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:14 am

Re: JD and International Law

Postby WesternDisturbanes » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:48 pm

dr123 wrote:What exactly do you mean by "International Law"?


International Human Rights Law and related fields. Working with such organizations (like HRW :P) or may be UN institutions?

WesternDisturbanes
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:14 am

Re: JD and International Law

Postby WesternDisturbanes » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:51 pm

Hey-O wrote:I'm not familiar with the degree system in India. In the US a JD is an advanced degree. Meaning, you already have a bachelor's (which can be in any subject) and then you complete three additional years. If you want to complete a JD then it would not be unusual at all to have Bahcelor's from your Indian university and then the JD.


I see what you mean but what I really wanted to ask, is whether doing a JD all over again, worth while from the point of working with (say) an International Institutions or Human Rights Organizations?

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worldtraveler
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Re: JD and International Law

Postby worldtraveler » Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:12 am

WesternDisturbanes wrote:
Hey-O wrote:I'm not familiar with the degree system in India. In the US a JD is an advanced degree. Meaning, you already have a bachelor's (which can be in any subject) and then you complete three additional years. If you want to complete a JD then it would not be unusual at all to have Bahcelor's from your Indian university and then the JD.


I see what you mean but what I really wanted to ask, is whether doing a JD all over again, worth while from the point of working with (say) an International Institutions or Human Rights Organizations?


I don't really know if the JD would be better, but at least at Berkeley there are a fair amount of LLM students from India hoping to go into the same field. The consensus among them seems to be that it's better to get experience in the field first, even if it's unpaid internships, and then get the LLM.

zmama
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:20 pm

Re: JD and International Law

Postby zmama » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:50 pm

You often don't need a legal degree to work with the kind of international organizations you mention. Work at HRW and many similar orgs is often not actually legal practice - it's one of those where having a law degree is helpful to the type of work but not essential. I know of non-US jobseekers who have passed a US bar exam after a US LLM, so they can actually practice, but I'm not sure they have great career prospects in any typical legal job market in the US. These are people who already have fairly substantial experience working/researching in human rights, international law, etc. through their LLB, summer, or other work. So they do have relatively good career prospects among the international organizations, and the LLM from a top US school can help further. Doing a JD instead probably wouldn't add too much if you don't need bar admission for the job. Basically, the LLM gets you to New York or DC (or near enough, hopefully), so you can do the internships at HRW, UN, etc.

Altogether, though, these IOs are extremely competitive as well, and networking is HUGE. As a previous poster suggested, start with an internship/volunteer position and get a feel for the career trajectories, get to know the people already doing the work. It's not a huge community. (If there are no openings posted, contact the organization directly.)




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